The 2017-18 season isn’t over for President Donald Trump’s “Winter White House.”
A day after Trump wrapped up a long Easter weekend at Mar-a-Lago, his administration announced Monday that Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will return to the tropical estate April 17-18 in advance of Trump’s planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Trump and Abe also met at Mar-a-Lago last year — a visit that saw the two leaders play golf and scramble to respond to a North Korean missile test. Their wives, first lady Melania Trump and Akie Abe, toured the Morikami Japanese Museum and Gardens west of Delray Beach during the summit.
Trump and Abe also met in Japan in November during Trump’s tour of Asia. Their two days of talks included golf, feeding koi and a declaration by Trump that, with regard to North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, “the era of strategic patience is over.”
At this month’s Mar-a-Lago summit, Trump and Abe will “discuss the international campaign to maintain maximum pressure on North Korea in advance of President Trump’s planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un,” according to a White House statement.
Trump shocked the world last month by agreeing to meet with the North Korean leader, whom he has derided in the past as “Little Rocket Man.” A specific time and place for the Trump-Kim meeting have not been set.
Aside from discussing North Korea, the White House says Trump and Abe will “reaffirm the United States-Japan alliance as a cornerstone of peace, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.” The two leaders will also “explore ways to expand fair and reciprocal trade and investment ties between the United States and Japan.”
While not specifically mentioned in the White House statement, another topic may be the issue of Japanese citizens who were abducted by North Korea between 1977 and 1983. The Japan Times reported that Abe plans to raise it.
“I will request in person that President Trump raise the abduction issue, which is the most important question, during the upcoming U.S.-North Korean summit,” the Japanese publication quoted Abe as saying.
Trump has made 16 visits to Palm Beach since taking office.
Mar-a-Lago has already been an international stage during Trump’s presidency. In addition to hosting Abe in February 2017, Trump met at his Palm Beach estate with Chinese President Xi Jinping last spring. And it was from a situation room in Mar-a-Lago that Trump gave the final approval for missile strikes on Syria during Xi’s visit.